Renaissance funds perform well, firm closes London office

BOSTON (Reuters) - Two funds at Renaissance Technologies, one of the world's biggest hedge funds, are performing better than the average hedge fund, but the company has stopped selling them in Europe because local marketing rules have been tightened.

The Renaissance Institutional Equities and Institutional Futures funds, known as RIEF and RIFF, returned 2.5 percent and 2.2 percent respectively through July 18, a person familiar with the numbers but not permitted to discuss them publicly said on Wednesday.

The two funds manage money for outside investors at the $25 billion quantitative firm founded by mathematician James Simons.

The average hedge fund has gained 1.33 percent this year, data from Hedge Fund Research show.

The Medallion fund, Renaissance's best known portfolio, is open mainly to insiders at the firm.

At the end of June, East Setauket, New York-based Renaissance closed its four-person office in London which was primarily a marketing operation to sell the funds in Europe.

The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, which went into force on Tuesday, prescribes new disclosures and fundraising requirements for hedge funds.

Also on Tuesday, Peter Brown, co-chief executive at Renaissance, said at a Senate hearing that complex financial structures called "basket" options had been important to trading at its Medallion fund. A report found that hedge funds had used these structures to avoid tax payments.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Nishant Kumar; editing by Gunna Dickson)